Alpha Natural Resources loss widens in second quarter

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Alpha Natural Resources reported lower revenues and bigger losses in the second quarter amid a weak coal market. The coal producer, however, beat analyst expectations.

The Bristol-based company announced Wednesday that revenues fell 21 percent during the quarter to $1.05 billion from $1.3 billion druing the same period the previous year.  Analysts had predicted revenue of $1.03 billion.

The company said that its quarterly loss had widened to $513 million, or $2.32 per diluted share, compared with $185.7 million, or 84 cents per diluted share, a year ago. That second-quarter 2014 loss includes a $309 million impairment charge.

Excluding the charge, the company would have reported a loss of $123 million, or 56 cents per share. Analysts had predicted a loss of 59 cents per share.

Alpha Natural Resources blamed the tough coal market for its lower revenues. The coal industry faces increased regulatory requirements and competition from low natural-gas prices and increased worldwide coal production.

"Coal markets remained extremely challenging in the second quarter,” Kevin Crutchfield, chairman and CEO of Alpha, said in a statement.

The company has announced plans to lay off 1,100 mine workers in West Virginia to save costs.

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